Conference centre, tourism audit reveals top marks

-A A +A
By Alex Wimsatt

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - Those who sit on the Shepherdsville/Bullitt County Tourist and Convention Commission had reason to smile during their last regular meeting when CPA Sandy Verbeck proclaimed the commission in excellent financial health.

Verbeck praised commissioners’ for their prudence when she delivered the commission’s 2010-2011 financial audit report.

The audit, prepared by Taylorsville firm Verbeck & Kaleher, showed improvement in tourism and the conference centre from the previous year. 

Verbeck said revenues increased while expenses were kept low.

“It’s just looking really good,” she told the commission. “It shows even with the economy not so great you guys were able to take in more revenue.”

On the conference centre side, the cost of goods rose, however gross profit also rose.

Paroquet Springs Conference Centre Director Vicki Downing said the improvement was due in part to keeping expenses down and drawing more events.  

As for tourism, reports show tourism was up in 2011 despite cuts in promotional advertising. 

“There’s cash in the bank,” Verbeck said of both tourism and convention.

Commission chairman Tom Kelly asked if there was anything commissioners could tweak. Verbeck said there wasn’t.

“I think you guys are doing terrific,” Verbeck said.

The commission voted unanimously to accept the 2010-2011 audit.

Shortly after Verbeck delivered her report, Shepherdsville/Bullitt County Tourism Director Troy Beam was happy to announce that local tourism has grown in recent years. 

Last year an estimated 531,000 people visited Bullitt County attractions, according to a year-end report.

The report showed the number of attraction visits have climbed every year since 2008 when it was reported that nearly 442,000 people visited local tourist destinations. 

Beam also pointed out that hotel and restaurant tax revenue was up 1 percent in 2011. 

“In these economic times that’s really better than holding your own,” he said. 

Beam couldn’t say whether the growth was a sign of improvement in the local economy but he said it was an indication that more people are taking advantage of what Bullitt County has to offer. 

“Bullitt County can be thankful for how well tourism is doing,” Beam said.

*Commission treasurer James Watkins reported that November lodging tax deposited in December fell slightly from the previous year. 

November lodging tax receipts deposited in December were $36,878, a decrease of $1,502 over the previous year. 

As lodging deposits declined from the previous year, restaurant tax deposits increased. 

October restaurant tax receipts deposited in December rose more than 26 percent from last year to $57,483.

Downing reported that December sales revenue rose nearly 23 percent from the previous year. 

*Upcoming events:

-Salt Lick Bluegrass Festival, Paroquet Springs Conference Ctr., Feb. 17-18

-Healthy Hearts Luncheon, Paroquet Springs Conference Ctr., Feb. 23

The next meeting of the Shepherdsville/Bullitt County Tourist and Convention Commission will be held Tuesday, Feb. 21 at the Paroquet Springs Conference Centre.

The meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. The public is invited.